Hate needles? This allergy treatment might be for you
Sandra Hermiston and Ross McLaughlin, CTV Vancouver
Published Tuesday, September 4, 2018 6:00AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 4, 2018 4:30PM PDT
If you suffer from allergies and the traditional medications don’t work, there’s something new on the market that may help – and it doesn’t involve needles.
It’s called sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT, and it could be a good option to deal with the annoying symptoms of several different allergens, including dust mites.
With allergy shots, a doctor will inject you with the allergen so that your body can build a tolerance to it over time. That can take three to five years.
With sublingual immunotherapy, a patient places a dissolvable tablet containing extracts of the allergen under their tongue.
Consumer Reports says it may be worth considering because SLIT is relatively easy to use.
“Once you have a consultation with your doctor, all it really takes is putting a tablet under your tongue for only a few minutes a day,” explained Patricia Calvo, Consumer Reports health editor.
Currently, there are four SLIT treatments available on the market:
- Acarizax, the first SLIT-approved treatment for house dust mite allergens
- Oralair, for five different grass pollens
- Grastek, for Timothy grass allergies
- Ragwitek, for ragweed
Depending on the specific SLIT treatment, younger people may start at age five.
Usually with this type of treatment you start taking the tablets about four months before allergy season and continue on throughout the season.
If you’re considering the therapy, be sure your doctor has your full medical history.